What an absolutely gorgeous morning, just picture perfect for a walk. Like Julie Andrews’ song “I Could Have Danced All Night” … well, I could have just kept walking and walking. While enroute to the Park, I saw a beautiful yellow Potentilla bush. I had one years ago but it became scraggly and leggy and I eventually pulled it out, but this one sure was pretty. I couldn’t remember if Potentillas had a scent, and I bent down to take a whiff of some of the flowers and I heard the unmistakable buzzing of bees. Wow! I peered through the bush and hadn’t seen the bumblebees on the other side of the bush. Wait! There were more down in between all the flowers just bobbing about partaking of sweet nectar. So … but for the buzzing, they blended right into that Potentilla bush. So what’s the buzz for this blog post? Lady luck was on my side and thankfully I heard the bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! That got me thinking about the bees buzzing and words that sound like the noises they are associated with. That dredged up a word I had not thought of since high school or college days: onomatopoeia. I think I kind of liked the way this word sounded (almost like some ornate dish of pasta or an Italian delicacy of some type) and that’s why I remembered it after all these years. Eons ago I had a delightful English teacher who fascinated our class with his extensive use of unusual words and phrases. Mr. Lorenz introduced the word onomatopoeia to us and explained its origin. He passed out a list of words, then encouraged us to think of more examples to add to his list. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz and buzz were near the very top of his list and have stuck in my head, but some others I remember were boom, fuzzy, zip and zoom. But there are many, many more – here, have a look: http://www.ereadingworksheets.com/figurative-language/poetic-devices/onomatopoeia-examples/
We shouldn’t let the school kids have all the fun learning new things! At least this doesn’t involve homework and tests.
My boss is a wordsmith and learning new words is a hobby for him. He tells a tale that growing up in Saginaw, his father, an attorney, had a complete set of the “Oxford English Dictionary” and he made his three young sons study a page daily to learn new words. The volumes of the “Oxford English Dictionary” are actually extremely over-sized books. The collection takes up an entire bookshelf and the ratio is nearly one volume for each letter of the alphabet, except perhaps X, Y and Z. That is alot of new words to familiarize yourself with. Robb has continued this practice throughout his adult life. He owns a set of the “OED” at work and home plus the CD version is loaded onto his laptop. He continues to endeavor to pepper his speech and writing with unusual, sometimes archaic or quirky words and phrases.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”…Albert Einstein